Title

Neuromuscular Control of Frequency Modulation in the Túngara Frog (Engystomops pustulosus)

Poster Number

13

Lead Author Affiliation

Biology

Lead Author Status

Masters Student

Second Author Affiliation

Biology

Second Author Status

Faculty

Introduction

The túngara frog produces a unique call consisting of a frequency modulated whine and facultative chuck. The mechanism of frequency modulation in the whine is undiscovered but has been postulated to be under control of the laryngeal posterior constrictor muscle.

Purpose

The objective of this study is to determine how this modulation occurs in the mating call of túngara frogs, and whether or not the contraction of the posterior constrictor has an effect on shortening and lengthening of the vocal folds.

Method

This will be accomplished through electric stimulation of the long laryngeal nerve, which should produce contraction of the posterior constrictor muscle. Simultaneous filming of the larynx will allow for quantification of laryngeal movements in response to muscle contraction. Once the laryngeal movement is characterized, it must be confirmed that movement of the vocal folds does affect the frequency. This will be tested in two ways: 1. The long laryngeal nerve will be stimulated in order to contract the muscle while airflow is being applied ex vivo. 2. Surgery will be performed on the frog to clip the laryngeal nerve so that the frog can no longer contract the muscle.

Results

Preliminary results from nerve stimulation have shown longitudinal and lateral vocal fold movements.

Significance

Gaining a better understanding of the action of the posterior laryngeal constrictor muscle can elucidate whether it controls call complexity or serves other roles in the larynx of the frog. Comprehension of the structure and function of this muscle can unveil more information on the evolution of communication and its effects on behavior, physiology, and morphology.

Location

DUC Ballroom A&B

Format

Poster Presentation

Poster Session

Morning

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Apr 29th, 10:00 AM Apr 29th, 12:00 PM

Neuromuscular Control of Frequency Modulation in the Túngara Frog (Engystomops pustulosus)

DUC Ballroom A&B

The túngara frog produces a unique call consisting of a frequency modulated whine and facultative chuck. The mechanism of frequency modulation in the whine is undiscovered but has been postulated to be under control of the laryngeal posterior constrictor muscle.